Blog: Hi, I am Ben

Games programing from the perspective of an animator

As an artist, I came into game development from the perspective of an animator working in Adobe Flash (now adobe animate [Lee]) for 2d assets and animation, and Blender.org [Blender.org] for 3D assets and animation. From very early on I knew I wanted to be a creative; trying my hand at animation, writing, painting, and sculpting. This all seemed to push me towards the idea of working with games but I was unsure how to make the move into game development. So starting a degree in animation with a focus on character animation, but finding that I preferred asset development, predominantly 3d assets to character animation. This also lead me to discover that I also enjoy asset integration, taking a finished or prototype asset and working through the problems that come along with integration of those asset into the engine in a functional way; making the animations function, checking assets are displaying correctly, finding issues with compression, etc.

 

Going through a Bachelor’s Degree in Animation at SAE Qantm was overall a great decision: it taught me how to work in a team, how to write documentation, and do planning for projects. It gave me a place to start networking with other creatives, and study subcultures and creative practice. These are all skills that I am grateful for, but I feel that I learned more directly about animation myself outside of my assignments, than I was taught. If this was due to the drive given to me by my desire to do my own work, and rebel against the assignments that I felt were not teaching me new things, or simply my drive to learn and create I honestly do not know. If you were to ask me if I would have learned more about animation without the Degree I would not be able to give definitive yes/no answer, as I just do not know myself enough to make that judgment call, and to do with the extras, the place to study culture and network. I have now started a bachelor’s degree in games programing, that gives way to the same units that encouraged networking and cultural study. So I possibly would have gained the same take away that I have done from the animation degree, but also quite possibly not, as I would have been amongst a different group of students, that could of/would of warped my personal development during that time, and possibly changed the entire outcome of those areas of study, and the personal developments that I have made about myself and my professional attitude.

 

Moving forward, I have made the push into programing for games, I attribute this decision greatly to doing the “Introduction to scripting unit” as an elective during my animation degree, and a large part of that was my teacher for that unit, who helped me to understand the basics of programing far beyond the semblance of understanding that I had predating that unit. Now I have found that I enjoy programing even more than I enjoy asset creation. So how does coming to programing from an animation background change my approach to other things compared to other students? Well I can only really make statements that directly apply to me, and are purely my opinion.

 

I have an advantage with assets obviously, as I have the background knowledge of an animation degree. But the biggest advantage that I have is that I have done this uni thing before, I have a solid understanding of how the units work, how assessments are marked, how to talk to other students, when to start working on assignments (ps. the same day it starts). I know that a lot of times I don’t take my own advice, and that I overscope everything. But I know all these things that I did not know when I started my animation degree, so in that way the biggest advantage I have boils down to experience, I have spent time learning how to work in a professional manner, I have learned to ask for help when I need it, also I have learned that you can learn more about something by trying to teach someone how it works. So my final point is that I have spent the time to learn.

This gif is an allegory for learning something new. There is nothing actually stopping you, but sometimes you just need someone to let you in.

References

Blender,. “Blender.Org”. blender.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

Lee, Rich. “Welcome Adobe Animate CC, A New Era For Flash Professional | Creative Cloud Blog By Adobe”. Adobe Creative Cloud. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Dec. 2016.

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